Which Obama Is the Good Obama?
July 27, 2010
One of the frustrations that comes with reading a David Brooks column about policy is that inevitably it will revolve around some ill-defined distinction between good centrism and bad knee-jerk ideology. Good centrist policy is inevitably fitted with certain descriptors, like "modest," or (depending on Brooks' mood) "bold." It will be said to encourage the private sector while steering between the ideological evils of old-fashioned big government and anti-government animus.
Removing the Nuts
May 17, 2010
Charlie Crist has fled the GOP. John McCain has sold his maverick soul. Bob Bennett just got throttled by conservatives. Michele Bachmann is occasionally taken seriously.
The Boss Hogg Oppo Research Continues!
April 20, 2010
Thanks to some great tips from several readers, the Boss Hogg file has expanded. While our official policy at Jonathan Chait is to refer to Haley Barbour exclusively as "Boss Hogg," a reader points out his striking resemblance to Sheriff Stuckey from "Mississippi Burning" (see above). As I've said before, I can't imagine Republicans would be crazy enough to nominate a White southerner who keeps a flag signed by Jeff Davis in his office. But the same reader makes an interesting case for why Barbour could likely be the nominee.
Obama's Moderate Health Care Plan
March 22, 2010
Is President Obama's health care reform a moderate bill, as Democrats claim, or an something more extreme, like Republicans say? William Bennett offers up the Republican case: On Saturday, the president said “this is a middle of the road bill.” It is not. The National Journal aggregation of polls has a 7 percent national opposition deficit (50 percent oppose, 43 percent support). Not one Republican — not Olympia Snowe, not Sue Collins, not Tom Coburn, and not Jim Inhofe — is supporting this. ...
The Great Unknowns (Updated)
February 19, 2010
If you read this blog, you probably want to know the true state of play in the health care reform debate. Well, join the club. After yet another a round of phone calls on Friday, I've become convinced that nobody really knows for sure. There's a lot of activity and discussion right now. But the key discussions involve a very small circle of people--smaller, in fact, than the circle of people you see quoted in the media, even anonymously.
The Magic Debt Reduction Commission
February 19, 2010
Advocates of the debt reduction commission seem to be engaged in a lot of magical thinking over just how this report is going to get enacted into law. I've been eager to see one of them actually spell out how this could happen.
February 19, 2010
When I studied the results of my national surveys of public opinion one week before the Massachusetts special election, I felt a wave of panic--a strangely familiar feeling. The results showed that the public’s hope had given way to disillusionment; that Democrats had come to embody political gridlock and big spending; that conservatives were energized and Democrats demoralized; that the country was in revolt against elites.
Iran Has Us Trapped. Obama Certainly Knows It. And Hillary Does, Too.
February 17, 2010
But Mrs. Clinton is the designated canary who brings the bad news. Or, rather, the good news... at least to the mullahs. She has now told everyone who will listen that the U.S. has no plans for a military strike against Iran. And, given the president's deeply ideological commitment to peaceful engagement with Tehran, there is no reason to doubt her. In fact, it is reasonable to deduce that no armed strike by America has even been laid out in the most theoretical manner.
Why Republicans Say They Want To Start Over On Health Care
February 09, 2010
In 1994, when they were killing Bill Clinton's health care plan, Republicans promised over and over they just wanted to do it right. Start fresh and pass a real health care plan without all the bad socialist stuff: "We don't have to do it all this year," [Bob Dole] said in the closing address to committee members. "We don't have to do any of it this year. You know, Congress meets every year. "I see a lot of bright spots to (acting) next year." ... "If they come up with something I can live with, I would support it, " said California state party Chairman Tirso del Junco, a surgeon.
Obama Should Take His Case to the Red States
February 05, 2010
Jonathan Chait parses Obama's statements last night and sees an emerging game plan. A key element is Obama's determination to reach out to the Republicans one last time before pushing ahead. I don't have a huge problem with that. The Democrats have repeatedly reached out to the Republicans and the Republicans have repeatedly rebuffed those efforts.